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Ashley Mitchell

Class of 2011
Major/Minor: Music/Business Management

I am a singer songwriter from Goldsboro, Maryland. Growing up in a small town has helped me understand the true meaning of follow your dreams. Singing karaoke in local bars and performing at private parties makes me only want to push myself harder to become a successful singer. I entered Washington College in the fall of 2009 as a transfer student. I immediately fell in love with the music department and knew that becoming a Music Major here at Washington was the right choice for me.

My story could fill the pages of a novel. I hope to one day have the opportunity to share my musical talent with the world. My entire world revolves around music. When I am not at school writing and performing, I am home working on new materials or performing locally with my band. I have been singing since I could speak. There is no other feeling in the world besides the rush of a crowd and the feeling of all eyes on you. My career path is to have my music heard and entertain the world. I have grown up with my mother by my side every step of the way. It has been a financial struggle for the two of us, but we stick together and possessing a degree from Washington College helps me gain one step closer to my dream.

My longtime friend and co-writer, Donny Marvel, has played a large role in the development of our first original CD, “My Time to Shine.” We were classmates in music theory throughout high school. After graduation we formed a band with a group of friends, and developed into a very popular cover band around our area. Upon the band’s departure, Donny and I decided to collaborate songwriting ideas and produce a CD. “My Time to Shine” was completed in the spring of 2010. I believe the knowledge I have gained through my years at Washington has influenced my song writing abilities. Since the completion of “My Time to Shine” we have began working on new originals, and have gathered a group of elite musicians to begin a modern pop/funk cover band. Our band consists of five musicians, lead/rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, drums, and lead vocalist. Donny and I have also formed an acoustic group for venues that require a more intimate setting. We work extremely hard in creating a memorable performance and an original sound.

I have gained a great deal of musical knowledge throughout my years at Washington College. Studying music at this wonderful school has not only improved my overall vocal abilities as a singer and a performer, but has also helped me develop as a songwriter. I am very proud of my musical journey and believe that my time spent at Washington College has shaped my life as a singer, songwriter, and performer.

Senior Capstone Experience

Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Hotchkiss Recital Hall
Gibson Center for the Arts

Ashley Mitchell
Paul Donovan, Guitar
Donny Marvel, Guitar
Dr. Garry Clarke, Piano

My senior voice recital was a reflection of what I have learned throughout my years in college, as well as how jazz music has ultimately affected my personal style of song writing. The development of my recital primarily revolved around the influential pieces of George Gershwin and the techniques and styles of jazz singers Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Eva Cassidy. Gershwin composed music for classical concert halls as well as Broadway, and aided in bridging a gap between classical music and jazz music. Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Eva Cassidy sang many songs composed by Gershwin throughout their careers. Each section of my recital was linked to the next by a musical relationship. Through the performance of memorable works by legendary artists, as well as my own jazz-influenced songs, I was able to present a glimpse of my musical journey.